Saturday, 06 June, 2020

Moving LA-area wildfire prompts mandatory evacuations

Gustavo Carr | 11 October, 2019, 22:04

Flames from the Saddleridge Fire approach a home in the Porter Ranch section of Los Angeles, California, in the early morning hours of October 11, 2019. The fire started near Sylmar northeast of the interchange of the 210 and 5 freeways, jumped those highways and kept running to the southwest north of the 118 near the densely populated Granada Hills area. By late Thursday it had gutted 60 acres; but some four hours later, it had grown to 4,600 acres, fire officials said. According to fire officials, upward of 1,000 firefighters are working on getting the blaze under control. About 2,500 customers were without electricity in Southern California.

The Saddleridge Fire zone is depicted on this Google Map image.

Emergency officials say one civilian went into cardiac arrest and died at the hospital, and one firefighter sustained a minor injury to his eye.

About 23,000 homes - involving roughly 100,000 people - have been told to evacuate in the northern Los Angeles area because of the Saddleridge Fire, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said Friday.

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At least nine fires are burning in the Golden State Friday morning, including five in Southern California, fueled by gusty winds blowing through the region.

A fast-growing, wind-driven wildfire swept into the northern Los Angeles area overnight, forcing hurried evacuation orders for tens of thousands of people, closing portions of at least three major freeways and sending firefighters scrambling to save homes. "Still was able to barely get through on the Interstate 5 north".

According to The Weather Channel, the fire quickly worsened when flames from the Saddleridge Fire crossed over the 210 Freeway. Both directions of the Foothill Freeway from the Golden State Freeway to the Ronald Reagan Freeway and the northbound Golden State Freeway's truck route in Sylmar were closed due to the fire for an unknown duration, the CHP said. Mandatory evacuations were ordered for all of Porter Ranch and Oakridge Estates.

Thousands of homes and businesses in California were hit with forced power outages in the days previous, as part of the Pacific Gas and Electric Co's attempt to prevent wildfires being sparked by downed power lines.